As we move quickly toward the last month of the year I normally have a focus toward what does the soon-to-come year have to bring. Assuming I can I will post some perspectives at some point, and I hope I can expand on the following also, though acknowledge we either do not see, see inaccurately or simply in part. Ah well – I assume we see enough to enable us to be stronger in faith than before. And before I write what follows, there is no ‘magic’ turning of a page on the stroke of midnight as one year ends and another begins, but I am also convinced that the nature of God is incarnational, s/he comes to live in our world and so communicates within our time frames.
Big picture: we all have a tension of living one day at a time – this is my last experience of being alive within the date we term 28th November, 2023… we live this day. Tomorrow comes and I will either be here to experience it or not… and the tension is that (again not a ‘magic’ date) we live out this phase in the context of the next 16+ years, to 2040. Within this time-frame we should anticipate what (from our perspective) will be a new move of God… however!
We are waiting for a ‘move of God’, but God is waiting for a ‘move of humanity’.
There will be a number of prophecies coming forth that will be proclaiming the great and final outpouring of the Spirit is about to break, and there will be what we can term ‘outbreakings of the Spirit’ in numerous places, but they will not be the centre of activity.
For those of us (like me) who grew up inside the four walls, and then add to that with a revival down the road (Lewis) talked about, having walked many miles of the land of Wales, held gatherings inside Loughour Chapel, been deeply impacted through the Pentecostal church, the charismatic and Toronto… blah blah blah… any concept of God moving is quickly pulled into a context that then shapes expectation, hence I think I add, for my sake, a health warning – not as you expect, Martin.
So back to a move of humanity. Messy. It ties a little bit to the previous post – where two or three gather together there is humanity in the midst. For us to ‘see’ this move we will have to make some adjustments away from a them / us mentality, and if we wish to participate within it sight will be necessary. What will it look like? Here I can only give a few indications:
Opposites meeting where defences go down and old hostilities are resolved. (Leaving us(??) with the question but where is Jesus in this?).
Some very key land resolutions – 2024 is a pivotal year when we can see a major shift with regard to literal warfare – and this could pivot also in a negative direction. (I think the passivity over Israel by Christians, or worse the ‘need to destroy the enemy’ is causing enormous problems to seeing wider resolutions.) ‘Occupation’ is the claim on both sides. Words such as stewardship, joint-participation, sharing should be the kind of words and concepts, for the WHOLE EARTH is the Lord’s and the gracious choice was to share it with us.
I personally think enough has been done (with more yet to be done) to create a shape for an outpouring of the Spirit among humanity. This has always been the desire of heaven. God waiting (impatiently?) for the fullness of times in order for the Incarnation to be released. Among us / with us. Not all responded to the Messiah then, but into conflict over land, over Imperial rule Jesus came. This is our context now – increasing conflicts over land / boundaries, changing of Imperial rule – and indeed a change of what (not simply where) Imperial rule is exercised.
I hope over this coming month I can expand on the above… And I hope even more that I can contribute to what is coming, or at least participate in it, and certainly I hope my expectations do not hinder it.
There are a number of Scriptures that provoke us to see and to hear what is there to be seen and heard, such as:
Do you have eyes and fail to see? Do you have ears and fail to hear? (Mk. 8:18).
In numerous settings, and maybe initially in the political and church setting, we have entered a phase of ‘wake up, open your eyes and ears, for it is now visible and audible’. It is not a time to cover over what is being uncovered, the weaknesses in the ‘babylonic’ nature of certain structure and institutions are there for anyone with sight to see. Let fall what should not be supported.
Today I was reminded that some 2 years ago I said to someone – leave before the trouble comes. If not they will be drawn into a ‘you can really help and even bring reconciliation’ endless cycle that goes nowhere. Tempting? Maybe for some the flattery and profile might pull them in, but the outcome for all is to be trapped. There are cover ups in many of the areas where we see politics being exposed – maybe I can refer to the COVID inquiry in the UK – but we can easily add trials of former leaders, the corruption that lies behind pleas of ‘we did not know’ when certain attacks took place; add to those aspects of current church investigations and I suggest there is a lot that is visible – can what is visible be seen?
The issues are not so much to do with personal failings, sad as those things are. It is the whole structure that feeds of a power dynamic where in a ‘dangerous’ world there are a few who can expound how dangerous the world is but they can assure us who are fear-oriented that we simply need to go along with them and we will be safe!
The world is not always a safe place, but I have discovered that the words and actions of those who claim the name of Jesus can be far more dangerous than any danger that is present in the ‘unsafe’ world.
Uncovering of what those with power wanted to keep covered is here. Don’t prop it up, let sight come so that more can see and hear. In a previous decade I realised that a backing away at this point of time into a naive and repetitive response of God is in control reversed what was being uncovered. Now what I believe is possible is for sight to come that will see not just what is becoming visible but to something beyond, to the realm of what can be: ‘I saw a new heaven and a new earth’. That is what I want to see. It comes first with seeing what can be seen when the uncovering takes place, then sight, then sight. Sight in two phases – seeing something that grips us, then seeing it around us. Bring it on through what is being brought before our very eyes now.
Here are some headline notes that outline my thoughts on boundaries / borders. On the macro scale related to ‘peoples’ the kairos times and the boundaries are connected: rather than take a ‘there is no revelation of God in other cultures (religions?)’ Paul seems to have a positive view of God in relationship to humanity, for God ‘gives to all mortals life and breath and all things’ (Acts 17:25); all of humanity are related as ‘offspring of God’ (v.29) hence all war (even ‘just’ war) is simply a version of civil war, intra-familiar war.
If ‘God-set’ boundaries are in place there are kairos opportunities to perhaps find God. If we insist that the only way to God is the ‘Christian’ way we are on the path of bringing faith in Jesus down to the level of another, but probably superior religion. Jesus is the way to know, and to know intimately, who this God is. The Jesus path is not a path to bring about a knowledge of God but to live within the conscious embrace of the God who made the world and all that is in it (v.24).
A major (and simple) way of obscuring God is to establish boundaries that are not those that are ‘God-set’. Hence wars, carving up whole aspects of lands and imposing boundaries that are not ‘natural’ but dictated to by imperial / colonial benefits and the like work against the finding of God.
Boundaries are groaning at this time, and alongside that are attempts to strengthen old boundaries (I appreciate that ‘securing our borders’ is a complex issue, but always there is a third way in God – a redemptive path). I anticipate that the next 6 years – the remainder of this decade will be filled with border conflicts and also some border resolutions.
Dropping down to the personal level: boundaries are vital. Internal boundaries where we do not allow ‘trespassers’ to encroach – a ‘no-one takes my life from me’ stance. That has to be matched by a ‘but I lay my life down’ response.
An establishment of internal boundaries then allows us to determine ‘our field / fields’. This is very much Pauline language – my field extends as far as you. He knew where he was to work and carried a responsibility for that; it was a work of enabling others to find their field so that he could move on and not crowd out the space. We will not operate at that level, but nevertheless we can determine what we carry responsibility for. As we do that we will create / hold space where there is a freedom for people to find God and not have their lives pressed in on by oppressive powers. I have seen where all-but daily blazing rows in homes dial right down so that after a few months such rows become rare.
Borders… so important; within them there is an inheritance; moving boundary markers comes with a warning… and maybe one final thought – we do not naively go beyond our boundaries. There are ‘powers’ that were defeated at the cross and made an open show of… this does not mean we spend out lives confronting them. They are to be confronted – but clarity that they are within our ‘field’ needs to be our conviction. A lot of declaring will not shift them, but will lead to something very uncomfortable or something worse for us.
God works at all levels – internally we will always be working on our boundaries, so it is not sort that out then the ‘next’ level… Each and every level, and ones I am not aware of, will be the focus throughout.
For some six months or so I have been focused on borders / markers. Personal boundaries are vital and we are to forgive those who ‘trespass’ across our boundaries; within the boundaries that God sets for us we have an inheritance; we can go beyond our boundaries and we will find ourselves in difficulties. Personal / internal boundaries are vital for if they are established in a greater way we can anticipate what ‘God does in us s/he will do through us’.
In this video I seek to push into boundaries that are beyond the personal. At this time there is a major groaning in the boundaries, and I consider that there needs to be the re-establishment of God-set boundaries. An enemy strategy is to set boundaries that are not God-boundaries. The key Scripture for me:
From one ancestor he made all peoples to inhabit the whole earth, and he allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries of the places where they would live, so that they would search for God and perhaps fumble about for him and find him—though indeed he is not far from each one of us (Acts 17:26,27).
Below is a transcript – pretty close to what I said!!
In this short video I want to talk a little bit about boundaries and borders.
Something that has been on my heart and mind over the last, six months or so is that we are coming into a season – we’ve always been there of course – but we’re coming into a season where borders and boundaries are going to be challenged and need to be reestablished. Scripture is full of talk about boundaries and borders. You can go back to the inheritance of the 12 tribes and you have from this territory to that one, etc. You could even talk from Deuteronomy about the angels who come and who were numbered in order to shepherd the nations so there are borders there.
I want to focus on borders at that kind of level in a moment but there’s a lot in scripture about personal boundaries. I love it when Jesus said that He laid down His life for us. That’s why we have life in God today. But He also said nobody can take His life from Him. He knew where His borders were. He knew where the boundaries were. They were not trampled over. He laid down His life and as I understand it, that’s at the origin of things like: “Forgive us our trespasses where we trespass over somebody else’s boundaries or borders where we should not travel.” “Forgive us as we forgive those who trespass against us – who cross our boundaries. So personal boundaries are absolutely vital and I think there has to be kind of a parallel movement in where we are.
For example, of Martin learning his personal boundaries and not overstepping them and not going into other territory. For example, not going into territory beyond where he’s anointed or territory beyond where he’s responsible, and not allowing anyone else to trample over his boundaries but he’s establishing them.
If I can establish internal boundaries then I’m sure that I can be used by God to help establish other boundaries. Now the scripture that really has been of interest to me in this last while is Acts 17:26 and onwards. “From one ancestor He made all peoples to inhabit the whole earth.” That’s one of the reasons why all war is ultimately “civil war”. It’s not simply “nation against nation.” We are all descended from one ancestor. It is a “family affair.” And that’s why all war ultimately has to be ended.
Going on: “He made all peoples inhabit the whole earth and He allotted the times of their existence and the boundaries (or borders) of the places where they would live.” The “times” of their existence is the Greek word “Kairos” so there’s something here about an opportunity. Borders for people are to give an opportunity. Opportunity for what? So that “they would search for God and perhaps fumble about for Him and find Him though He indeed is not far from each one of us. For in him we live and move and have our being. As even some of your own poets have said. For we too are His offspring.” We’re all children of God by creation. Yes, we have to come into redemption to find that real home in God as Father, but there’s this place where boundaries that are established – that God establishes – are places within which God can be found. Hence one of the areas of major attack is boundaries.
If the enemy can establish boundaries that are not God boundaries, then he absolutely removes that possibility of people “stumbling and finding God” or at least making God obscure to them. God wants to reveal His own life, His own personality and His own being to people. Ultimately, of course, that revelation is through Jesus at the Cross, but within God’s set boundaries that are a place for people to seek after, stumble, fumble along, BUT find God. Hence, I do believe what we’re seeing at the moment is a real “groaning” in the areas of boundaries.
Two illustrations in recent days (and these will be within a UK context):
· The sycamore tree on the old Hadrian Wall cut down (they don’t know quite how it happened) a landmark marking that boundary. In this time there’s a groaning at that boundary.
· At the same time the felling of an old yew tree in the area where the Battle of Hastings took place.
So, one boundary, the English-Scottish border defined by the Romans, and another, a marker where the Norman Invasion took place – issues of history – trees that have stood there marked time. That yew tree was a thousand years, probably plus, old, and perhaps originally saw that conflict and establishment of the Norman Conquest. So we see simply at an illustrative level there is a provocation with regard to boundaries.
The Ukraine boundaries and the Israel and the Gaza Strip boundaries – they’re under attack and they’re seeking to be reestablished. It tells me something. Even my homeland of Orkney, positing “could we leave Scotland” and maybe join as part of a Scandinavian country, Norway for example. There’s a groaning going on, and I think this is where somehow, we need to be involved now, maybe not the macro level but I think what we need to be involved in is saying, “God establish boundaries in me. Help me live within them.” Because whatever God does in us is what He will do through us so that we can establish boundaries.
I think one of the mistakes we make as believers is to get caught quickly into a political area: “Should there be independence for this country?” “Should a Brexit happen or not happen?” The real issue is the politics need to follow and serve the boundaries that are being set spiritually.
So where am I going with this?
I’d like to suggest that in this season God wants to really hone in on us personally – that’s Number One – with regard to our boundaries:
· that they cannot be crossed
· that we know where they are
· we know who we are
· that we begin to establish the boundaries that God has given us and defend them.
Because within those boundaries the psalmist says, “I have an inheritance.” They’ve “fallen in good places”, “beautiful situation” and inside that, there I have an inheritance.
I believe also in our geographies or among our people group or where we feel called that we begin, in the spirit, to establish boundaries. “This is in.” “This is out.” That, I think, actually to be honest with you, is the origin of the “binding and loosing” scriptures. It’s a Jewish idiom, or a way of speaking that the rabbis used, which was, what you bind is what you did not allow, and what you released is what you allowed. This is what is allowed within our jurisdiction (the community of God), this is what was not allowed. That’s the origins of binding and loosing, what you bind on Earth, what you loose on Earth, etc. It’s what is established there.
I want to encourage you, in a season when boundaries are being set – and we will see major, major, major shifts in political boundaries and alliances. I think if we can participate with God (think “Beyond The Four Walls” of Church, this is God’s world and everything in it) to begin to establish some boundaries, begin to ask God, “What is the boundary?”, and it might be incredibly small in our mind: it could be the boundary of a street where you live, or three or four houses. You know that’s one of the areas where I pray, where Gayle and I pray, is with regard to immediate neighbors, that within those boundaries because we live there, certain things can flourish and certain things cannot flourish.
But for some of you, it’s going to be wider and some of you are going to be “walking boundaries.” It might not be the boundary that is stated by politics it might be ancient boundaries some of which need to be reestablished some of which really need to be uprooted and changed. So, it’s not about finding political community boundaries, things set by a local council, local government or a national government or European government or whatever. It might or might not be that but it’s what are the boundaries that God is giving. Because if we can really see in the spirit, boundaries established, what we will find is, angels appear at boundary areas. That’s where Jacob met the angels. As he left one territory to enter another, he met angels ascending and descending at that point. Heaven and Earth were touching there.
And if we can just begin to establish boundaries, and many of them will overlap with what other people are doing, I do believe we’re going to begin to see a situation whereby people understand, “this is a Kairos moment.” The boundaries have been set by God, not by demonic forces, not simply by politics, not by big business, but they’ve been set by God. Something that both might include nations, transcend nations, be smaller than nations, be bigger than Nations. Boundaries that God has set and within it, yeah maybe fumbling along, maybe stumbling, but in order that they might find God. That is the Kairos moment I believe we’re coming into. And I think one of the things that we’re called to do in this season is to set boundaries that are “God boundaries”.
So, in closing, think about your own internal boundaries, where they’ve been crossed. Forgive us where we’ve crossed boundaries of others. Help us establish our own boundaries as we forgive those who have crossed boundaries and hemmed us in. And also, to be aware not to overstretch. There are areas of anointing that we have and there are areas, to be honest, where we’re not anointed or gifted, but have character and have been trained in order to cross over. But there are boundaries, beyond ourselves, that I believe God wants to give us in order that we can establish boundaries for others. This, I believe, is one of the mandates that God is giving us over these next, I would suggest, six years, that God is giving to us to begin to establish. if we can do that, I do expect that we can see, where boundaries are being threatened, as we see in issues of war, we can see peace come to those. Reconciliation at the at the crossing points. And we can see something reversed of the horrendous things that we’re witnessing at this time.
So, I commit this to you I submit it to you and if it resonates, go back to scripture see what you see there and let’s journey forward together.
Before I start this post I recommend reading the comment by Anne to my last post… I was deeply struck by her statement that we are living on a new planet NOW. I am working on updating my material on eschatology so that by the end of next year I hope to complete a set of videos and notes and wonder, at one level, how informed perspectives such as she brings fits with it all – for the hope of Scripture is not that we escape from here and all eschatology (if it is at any level resonating with Scripture) calls out with a question – how then in the light of that understanding will you now live?
At so many levels our world is changing, and this is indeed a challenge to eschatology. Biblical language that seems to speak of an end marked by cosmic catastrophe (sun darkened, moon to blood, stars falling) was never understood to speak of the end of the world, but of the end of the world as it was known, of marking a shift from one world (order) to another.
I have a friend who was on his way to a gathering and pulled in to the service station to fill up the gas tank on his car. As he stood there he was sure he heard the voice of God – ‘today the world changes for ever’. He did not understand what that could mean; he reflected what he heard to those at the gathering. The question was – so what does that mean? what will take place? No answers, but later that day…
The date – September 11, 2001 – better known as 9-11.
I have for some 20+ years been saying there is a move from west to east and north to south… Who would have believed that North Korea could become a player in world events? Yet there he (Kim Jong Un) came to meet with Putin to work on a deal of supplying weapons. There is a shift taking place. On the global order of things the world is changing.
Hope is real, it is tangible… it does not come through burying our head in the sand and then speaking niceties. It is ‘the Babylonians are coming; the temple will not save us; we will be relocated; but if we can learn to live in the relocation God will be present where s/he has been formerly absent’. We can bring the message up to date, but the element of relocation (and the pre-relocation word ‘dislocation’) remains constant.
I sang back in the day ‘These are the days of Elijah…’ And we need that old Elijah approach, but I remember singing that some 25 years ago and hearing ‘These are the days of Amos…’ I suspect we now need to ‘sing’, ‘These are the days of Jeremiah…’ Not the most popular prophet but with a vision beyond his immediate horizon, and with a vision that called people to see Babylon as the land of fruitfulness. Now that is a vision of some scale.
The world is changing; old power centres are fading; new powers will come and go. As I still contemplate what I will write about borders / boundaries maybe I should at least drop the seed here that if we draw the boundary around ‘Jerusalem’ we might just see ‘armies surrounding the city’. Maybe we could abandon that city (whatever ‘that city’ means for you and me) and learn how to live in a new planet, with all the hostility that is there, but live there with the Prince of peace – I think it will be hard to pray for the peace of Babylon if we are not at peace.
We are approaching some very unstable years in numerous Western nations. Always an interesting time for those with prophetic ministry. A time to prophesy hope – hope is certainly spoken in the Scriptures in the context of oppression. Yet hope is not spoken without an acknowledgement of the threats, indeed hope was spoken because the threats were obvious. The hope went well beyond an ‘all will be well’ message, and not all will be well in these coming days. There is always a path through, but the path through is seldom ever the path around – it is a path through. If we genuinely embrace the land then we will also experience the pain of the land (Israel’s experience of bondage in Egypt is the bondage of the land due to our corporate sin), and the pain of the land has to be embraced.
I recently had a dream where I was taken to a specific nation and in a main arena a well-known attested prophet was holding forth. The space was filled with no room for any other perspective or word to come forth, although there was a seemingly verbal acknowledgement of others; eventually this person moved from simply speaking to shadow boxing. It became very evident that this was denigrating into a show, nothing of substance taking place but plenty of entertainment. I left with Gayle and we went into a side-room where it was apparent that a person who was committed to bring through a next generation prophetically was totally engrossed in themselves and how powerful they were. We could only spend a short while observing that, as again we knew this was going nowhere productive.
When a nation (city / region) is under threat and those threats are more or less obvious to all who have sight and ears and also the prophetic becomes locked inside the fortress then the words that come will almost invariably be regarding breakthrough. I think of the warnings Jesus gave that were into that very scenario. Jerusalem surrounded, but in that context ‘false prophets’ arising (false does not necessarily mean inaccurate). In the Jerusalem context a process unfolded of words released of deliverance and calling for trust in God, and then miraculously the deliverance came – Rome had to withdraw as back in Rome it was plunged into Civil War (68AD – the year of the four emperors). Deliverance; believe the prophets and you will prosper! However, we know that what followed was not a deliverance but quick destruction.
The voice that is silenced in that time is the Jeremiah voice. These past days I am calling for the Jeremiahs who have been silenced, who have been put in the pit, to come forth. Your voice is not a negative voice but one of sight and faith and who will enable people to live the other side of trauma, to live in a new context, to live not calling for the shalom of ‘Jerusalem’ but learning to prosper in ‘Babylon’, praying for the shalom of that city. It is not a prospering from Babylon but prospering in the city. Yours is the voice of hope, hope through the valley that we enter where our paradigms get pulled apart never to come together again in the same way.
There is a shift coming of enormous proportions. Borders being redefined, greater movement of the tectonic plates, and even Civil War within an established nation, with what could almost be some form of enactment of Civil War taking place on the governmental floor.
In coming days I want to write about borders and boundaries. They are ever so important as wrong boundaries is one of the simplest of strategies to obscure God. For now, Jeremiahs arise. You will be raised out of the pit and for a season and have an unusual freedom to speak.
Back in 2010 I had a dream of the façades opening up with all the institutions that have shaped the public square being represented as buildings and in a moment the fronts of the buildings opened up, swinging forward and then up. The insides could be seen. In that dream the shocking element was that in the public square there were enough believers to join in a (Christian) song that was started by someone with the result that the façades closed again – as quickly as they had opened. An audible voice spoke to me;
It is the familiar that brings things back to where they were, that restores the status quo.
The familiar… and the desire to resort (as Christians) to the encouraging songs / statements that ‘God is in control’ is probably more dangerous than the familiar in another context.
I believe that we – who claim to be ‘followers of the Lamb wherever he goes’ – have both a responsibility and an authority to bring about change, hence if we simply go with ‘leave things as they are’ we are exercising that authority – and now looking back on the dream I understand why what was taking place (opening of façades) resulted in the return to normal (normal!!!) button being pushed.
Further we have to ask what on earth do we mean by ‘God is in control’. Very clearly Jesus taught us to pray in a certain way because God was not in control – OK a bit of a paraphrase of ‘let your will be done on earth’. The will of God is not being done on the earth in many settings, and as God is working toward an end, that of the renewal of all creation (new heaven and new earth), it seems clear that s/he is not working toward that through some exercise of power (the age old objection of a moral, loving God has the power to do xyz and does not do it). If we talk of the rule of God we must not think of ‘rule’ as if there is a powerful force that God exerts. LOVE does not control, and how frustrating that must be!! Perhaps equally frustrating is that we don’t easily co-operate with God’s seasons. An extended version of Ecclesiastes could be ‘there is a time to sing, and a time to refrain from singing; there is a time for the facades to open… and a time for all the Christians to say, stay open and let all be revealed’. OK the canon is closed and I didn’t get my contribution accepted.
Now we are headed into unknown territory but I think the precursors of 2010 and that decade are not simply being repeated. Now for some even deeper paths.
I consider that we are witnessing not simply façades opening up but some very fixed points collapsing. Collapse brings us to chaos. Chaos is a tough place to be but it also marked the beginning of all of creation. Chaos was responded to with ‘shape’ to answer the issue of ‘without form’ and then shape was responded to with ‘filling’ to answer the issue of ’emptiness’.
Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
If using the term ‘collapse’ is close to being accurate there are numerous responses that can be made:
the old uncertainty is shored up by a restating and re-establishing of what was (and I consider that at the forefront of such a response will be the underlining of patriarchy).
the old shape is not changed but filled with something we think is new – Jesus warned against this with the wine / wineskin illustration (and here we can watch the ‘currency’ issues that are everywhere this year – and beyond).
we live uncomfortably with hope that if enough of us can live in that insecure place that we will be aligning with the Spirit who hovers over the deep (the chaos).
If there were enough believers in the public square to join together to see the façades close back up again, maybe there are enough present to see a great shift toward a ‘new heaven and new earth’; enough to corporately to say ‘we have a dream; a dream that one day…’
Over the past few years I have been focused on where those with prophetic calling are dealing with issues of persistent or life threatening sickness. I also know of a number who have passed away. A few weeks back I was on a Zoom with a group of people who carry prophetic anointing and we looked at those issues there. This video is a response from that evening.
I also noted that a few days ago Cindy Jacobs put out a call to pray and fast to protect those who are called as prophets:
There have been many instances of sickness hitting the prophets recently. Therefore, we are calling for a 40-day fast to protect the prophets.
Beyond the scope of this video we could be add that in the current scenario there is a vulnerability that is directed against women and in particular those of a rising generation (maybe another video to be done suggesting that the current collapse – societal, governmental, economic and in particular ecological – is in danger of being filled in a wrong way…). So an even greater awareness of the potential difficulties that can affect health if the person is both female and a prophet.
Needless casualties – maybe later a video on this – I don’t go the whole way with the contents of the book that opens this up, but the theme of ‘needless casualties’ is something we should seek to avoid.
No answers in the video; certainly no attempt to connect with straight lines, but I seek to cover:
The foundation of attacks from within the body of Christ is the biggest source of the issues (1 Cor. 11:30 being foundational).
Attacks rooted in jealousy.
Memory / trauma locked in the body with a 6 month – 2 year incubation period.
Life taken from us rather than life being given from us.
A few days ago I wrote a post on one aspect that seems to be noteworthy in our world at this time. I entitled it, ‘Women Rising…?’.
At the same time as noting what had taken place with Jacinda Ardern and then with Nicola Sturgeon something parallel has been taking place in the Tech world. The CEO of YouTube, a woman who had travelled with Google since the early days resigned. Her place to be taken by a man; her resignation has been one of many women who have resigned in the Tech industry and the majority of those who have replaced them have been men.
I then read an interview with the Scottish poet, Em Strang, who commented that
I utterly think that right now we’re living through a time of incredible misogyny.
She acknowledged that it has always been present, but at the current time of ‘collapse’ it has become yet more intense.
In these past days I have been writing on the nature of transition, both from a personal aspect, what is experienced and how we respond, and also at a corporate level. There is one aspect I have not written about and could only hazzard a few guesses at so will avoid it: it is that of global transitions.
Something global is shifting; the end of an era is here. It is parallel to the phase that takes place at a corporate level that I term ‘dusk or dawn’. Is it the end of a day and the dark night is coming, or is the end of the night and day is breaking? In reality when a major transition comes to the corporate setting it is both dusk and dawn, and I suspect that in the same way that is where things are at globally.
I wrote in the section on dusk and dawn the following yesterday:
Voices calling for a return to the old ways will continue. And there will be those who push for a re-inventing of what has been.
However, there is no going back. There has been too much movement for there to be a return to the former thing. For those who are courageous and willing to take a risk (or for those who cannot do anything else!) there is another stage to come. It will not, and must not, come quickly for there has to be an effective detoxification from the old ways.
In the collapse I suspect this is what is happening. It is my take (and my take is so important!!!) on a voice such as Jordan Peterson. Voices such as his are essentially calling for what they understand has been ‘lost’, that is threatened, and add to that ‘Christian faith’ and we have something that is very persuasive. (And in what I write I am not suggesting that what these people are saying that they do not have a contribution into the conversation… simply that (for me) the appeal is to the past and to a way of being in society that relates to what was.)
The vision of the NT seems to me to be one that seeks to pull the present up into the future, something that Martin Luther King did with his ‘dream speech’. He spoke of a new social order that would transform the present. There would be work involved but the power of the imagination would itself do something to pull the present up into the future. Time can be measured by the clock and the calendar, but the future cannot be measured in such a way. Time can pass but the past (in the sense of past realities) can simply be present in yet a greater way than before. Time moves forward, it is uni-directional; kairos (qualitative time) is bi-directional; we can regress.
Such is the time we live in.
A time of unprecedented misogyny, with social media being a highly accessible means to launch the missiles of slander (think of Sanna Marin being criticised for dancing and drinking at a Christmas party… and how many males have done so and not been criticised?). Perhaps also it is not simply slander but in measure blasphemy – in the root sense of speaking with an authority that claims to represent truth (God being the ultimate reality; hence Paul righteous when viewed from the past looking forward, but a blasphemer when viewing the past from the future).
Collapse is present. How it will increasingly manifest might be unknown, but in this phase of the ‘in-between’ we have a choice to go slow and not fight chaos… if the chaotic space is controlled then in the collapse will come the call to restore former values. And with it comes slander.
[A footnote to consider: the language of the new testament is not primarily of a new ‘world’ but of a new ‘creation’. This is why the imagination must be ignited by the future.]
I posted a video of some sight for 2023 with the major focus being on currency changes, but preceded that by a few ‘so what?’ comments. This was provoked by clicking on a link about a major scandal that is still unfolding within the EU parliament. It resonated with something I had said about what was to come in 2022 (I had said it would relate to a company scandal and affect multiple nations with resignations… to date there is no mention of a ‘company’ involved – but there is more to come on this, and of course it affects 27 nations within the EU.)
I came through to speak with Gayle and to reflect with her on this. I also reflected on a number of other situations, both from 2022 and from other situations, some of which are really hard to reconcile, but most leave one with a ‘so what?’ kind of response. Assuming that there is genuine revelation involved, there remains the ‘and what good does the revelation do?’.
If we are interested in ‘knowing something someone else does not know’ then we have the answer to the ‘so what’ question, however, information for the sake of information is not what God trades in. Transformation is the work of heaven, not the dispensing of information. That is the huge difference between occult foretelling and any element of foretelling within prophecy. One releases a measure of bondage and ‘fate’ the other the wonderful flexible destiny of a God who works in all things for the good of those who love God and are called according to that divine purpose.
So we have to rule out ‘giving of inside knowledge’ as part of the ‘so what’ answer. Sadly I think this is often part of the deal when people give their ‘what I see for the coming year’ proclamations. Long term (maybe short term) this can only release problems. Other problems arise when (often because of political or theological reasons) we connect the dots too quickly, or as unbiased as we think we are that our bias gives us the interpretation.
Any foretelling will be a focus for prayer, though one of the challenges here is that when something is foretold the expectation is often different to that of the outworking. (I have a colleague who prophesied in Madrid prior to the election in 2004 that there would be ‘an explosion in the city that will turn the expected outcome of the election’. Within a few days the Madrid train bombing took place and the election result was the opposite of what was anticipated. She told me ‘never once did I think that this would be a literal explosion’. So of course one can say, information fuels prayer… but when we are on the wrong track already it might not make a lot of difference.
Signs. Now we get closer I think. Signs in Scripture are semi-sacramental, and of course the ‘sign’ of the elements (for Protestants) is indeed fully ‘sacramental’ for others. Signs point. They are sign posts to help us set direction, set direction for our sight. ‘When you see these things happen…’ lift your eyes. We look higher than the sign, we look beyond the sign. So if I am correct to place ‘currency’ as a main focus this coming year what would be beyond that – ‘economy’ not in the sense of the GDP of a nation, nor simply at how do I look after my money. The sign might necessitate what we consider doing with money, but it is pointing beyond money.
Signs. Even when we do not understand what is beyond the sign to look for, signs also pull what they point at to the physicality. They draw the spiritual reality / value into the physical. Hence with the ‘currency’ issue we will see that somehow economy / economies will feel the affect greatly of what is taking place. And when we consider that money / perceived wealth is at the centre of what is shaken when there is a significant spiritual shift (consider Ephesus in Acts 19 where it seems all the signs come together, and if Ephesus is a first city, then we expect to see there the clarity that is often hidden elsewhere) we should be anticipating something accelerating.
[Acceleration seems to be where we are at… when Liz Truss was established as PM of England I know that a number saw her as a ‘re-incarnation’ of Margaret Thatcher. Some of my connections of course saw this as a restoration of something good… I, however, said if she goes quickly it will be a sign that elements of the past are being emptied out quickly. I might have my bias but I think I was motivated by we are not looking to re-establish the past – not the past with Churchill nor with Mrs. T. This has been, for me, what COVID has highlighted. We are not to return to a ‘back to normal’. That which we thought was normal was largely un-normal, and un-natural. We are not looking to go back but moving on into land we have not been in.]
Whatever we see in the sense of ‘God is removing’, ‘this will be shaken’ has to be expecting that there will be something that comes through the shaking, or comes up from the buried place into visibility that cannot be shaken (Heb. 13 helpfully give us elements that have to come through).
We are to expect space to be occupied that is cleared, often, though, with chaos being the first state. God creates out of chaos. Other creation stories might have ‘god’ defeating the chaos monster, and our story is both far removed from that version and also not so far away from it. God creates out of chaos. So we might not expect something to instantly replace what has been shaken out of its place. A too-quick replacement might see something substituted but carrying the same spirit – that is my concern with so much of the ‘Chrstendom under a new label’ approach. We replace what has been dominating with a Christian presence that… dominates!
Maybe we have to live with chaos first, then comes boundaries, then comes ‘this is good’ to fill it.
A ‘so what’ for 2023? Sow our two coins (and coins can be representative of time – a better economy) where we want the world to go.
We are rapidly coming to the time when the body of Christ will be central to the purposes of God by not centring itself on itself. The survival of the ‘church’ is not the goal, but the presence of God in and through all things. ‘I saw a new heaven and a new earth’ (a whole new creation) but within the ‘new Jerusalem’ John says that he ‘saw no temple in the city’.
What will take place in these (now) next 17/18 years? When we look back we might realise that we had no clue about the ‘so what’, but I suspect if we can free ourselves from desiring knowledge that we will be amazed at what is new.
A footnote: ecological renewal… now that involves a new economy.